Changing furnace and air conditioning filters placed second on HGTV’s Spring Clean Up List. But did you remember about your vehicle’s cabin air filter?
This is one of the most commonly neglected items and the reason being is because most people simply do not know they exist. Unfortunately, some repair shops will actually not check them for you, as they can be huge pains to access, unless you specifically ask.
The cabin air filter is responsible for catching debris from the outside air coming in such as pollen, dust, and other airborne contaminants. As they become full, they not only begin to emit a funky smell, but actually put more stress on your air conditioning system. When the filters reach this stage, they begin to restrict the flow of air through them causing the HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning System) to work harder. If you are hearing a noise when the blower dial is on the high setting, there could be a good chance you need to change your filter.
Manufactures recommend to change the cabin air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or as needed—so for most Americans about once per year. Of course depending on your driving conditions it could be sooner or later. For example if you live in a dusty or high pollen areas you may find yourself changing them with more consistency.
These little filters came off a vehicle that was barely 2 years old with barely 20,000 miles.
The average American spends between 600 to 900 hours per year in their vehicle and just like in your home, your vehicle has an air filter to catch any debris before they are blown into the cabin compartment and in your face.